By Sanan Haroun
The 2003-2004 academic year was a very dynamic one for Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School–with students participating in all sorts of new and fun activities–from the annual Science Fair to visiting Armenia–and also making major athletic achievemen’s. Students and teachers devoted a lot of energy and long hours to make this school year a success. Let’s take a quick glance at life on North Alexandria Street.
Every year in the month of June–students take part in an election to choose the members of next school year’s Student Council. Our Student Council–composed of two delegates from each class of sixth grade and higher–as well as an elected cabinet–worked on a number of events to make the school year active–fun–and enjoyable. Throughout the year–the Council organized Friday night dances–debates on current affairs–an amusing lip-synching contest–and a special Valentine’s Day gift sale.
A new event this year offered the opportunity to observe May 28 Armenian Independence Day–with a celebration of Armenian culture with music–food–and even dancing.
In addition to the two-on-two basketball and backgammon competitions–the Student Council even managed to bring a water dunking booth and a huge slide to the campus.
Another outstanding event was the science department’s annual Science Fair. Student projects were based on conducted experimen’s and the scientific method. Through experimentation–the projects sought to answer such questions as "Which household window cleaner is best?" and "Which gum flavor lasts the longest?" Just in case you are wondering–according to scientific studies done by Pilibos students–the Winter Fresh gum’s flavor will last the longest. . . Students–therefore–got to learn about science-related resources outside of the classroom and in daily life.
SCIENCE QUIZ BOWL
In February–Pilibos students also participated in the 2004 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Science Quiz Bowl. The Quiz Bowl consisted of two sections–a question and answer contest–and a "hands-on" scientific trials competition. Among eleven thousand students from throughout the country–nine Pilibos students participated in the regional competitions. They sacrificed many lunch hours to prepare for the event; it obviously paid off.
ACADEMIC PENTATHLON– DECATHLON
Having general knowledge is important to everyone right? That’s exactly why Pilibos gives students an option to enter the Southern California Private Schools Academic Pentathlon and Decathlon. Regardless of their GPA–students can enter the two competitions to participate in the scholastic activity. In both the Pentathlon and the Decathlon–nine students in all–three A–three B–and three C averaging–took part in learning various subjects.
In the Pentathlon for middle-school students–each of the nine students was given five subjects: science–math–an essay section–literature–and a super-quiz round.
For seventh graders–the super-quiz subject was African History; for eighth graders–United States History.
Each of the nine High School students participating in the Decathlon had to study to prepare for ten areas: art–music–math–economics–language and literature–speech–an essay section–an interview section–science–and a super-quiz round. The super-quiz round for the High School students this year was the Journey of Louis and Clark.
The journey to prepare for the challenge began in September for Pilibos students–and ran until early spring. Each and every day–and even on Saturdays–information was crammed into their heads for hours on end.
Even over Christmas break–teachers and students alike left their cozy–warm homes to come to school instead to prepare for this event.
The challenge proved to be rewarding. Pilibos students came out victorious–placing first place in their division and third in the overall rankings.
MODEL UNITED NATIONS
This year the United Nations (UN) came to Pilibos for the first time. Twenty-two Pilibos students represented the People’s Republic of Korea at the Model UN which took place at the University of California–Berkeley in March. Each year approximately 200,000 high school and university students worldwide take part in a variety of Model UN programs.
Throughout the weekend–students partook in a variety of issues and discussions–and had the opportunity to also represent the Palestinian Minister of Security Affairs and the International Monetary Fund Governor for the Russian Federation.
They drafted resolutions and delivered a position on diplomatic actions during the model session. Pilibos earned a commendation in the United Nation Drug Control Policy Committee (UNDCP). As a diplomatic treat–after debating all day long–students toured San Francisco.
THE SOCIAL ELEMENT
Life at Pilibos is not just academics–however; social events allow students to hang out and kick back in a fun atmosphere. The annual Winter Formal and Prom (with a French theme this year) for instance–proved to be a blast. Students danced–ate and mingled–until early hours of the morning–all with chaperones–of course.
Pilibos excelled in athletics as well; the Girl’s Varsity Volleyball team–Boy’s and Girl’s Varsity Basketball teams–and the Boy’s Varsity Soccer team made the 2003-2004 regional playoffs this year. Dedication–commitment–and plenty of sweat produced great results.
Though competitions were fierce–Pilibos athletes were unstoppable. Let’s not forget to mention the Cheerleaders and Drill Team members who made the half-time of basketball games entertaining with their cheers–stunts and–choreographed dances. Over 30 high school girls spent most of their after-school hours in the gym perfecting their maneuvers that ended up looking great during show-time.
In April–the 12th grade graduating class went on a remarkable and treasured journey to Hayastan and Artsakh. Throughout their life–and especially at Pilibos–the students learn about their country and ethnicity through textbooks–classes–and photographs; the trip enabled them to see and experience the homeland first hand. They met His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II in Etchmiadzeen–descended down the steps of Khor Virab Monastery–visited military bases in Artsakh–and even managed to bring home a few gifts for the school’s new library. Their trip was amazing; word has it they are all planning to return to Hayastan next year.
This year one phenomenon at Pilibos was the opening of the new and high-tech library. Nowadays–students have a great environment and atmosphere in which to study–research–and even read for fun–with all sorts of resources at hand. The library includes state-of-the-art electronic catalog system and a check-in/check-out system. In addition to these technologies–the Pilibos library also carries top of the line computers–allowing students to use the electronic catalog–research on the web–or use useful programs. Now–there is a quiet environment outside of the classroom walls–where students can explore the Internet for useful information–learn–and even cram for tests and exams.
Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School allows students to make their academic years and learning experience fun-filled–useful–and memorable. With a lot of events going on–the students and teachers definitely need a summertime break. However–Pilibos will be back in session this September for the 2004-2005 school year–so stay tuned for more exciting and fun events.